You might say Roger Troutman is an avid supporter of Clemson University. To best illustrate his allegiance to the institution nestled in the Upstate of South Carolina, he recalled a story from the first time he purchased a cell phone. He was able to choose the last four digits of his number, and he quickly settled on 1-9-7-4.

“I came home and told my wife Kathy about the new number, because it was our graduating year from Clemson,” he said. “And she looked at me and said, ‘Well, Roger, that’s also the year we got married!’

“That tells you a lot about our relationship with Clemson.”

Roger and Kathy Troutman at a 2016 Student Affairs Gala

Roger and Kathy Troutman are the recipients of the 2019 Herb Coughlan Memorial Family of the Year award.
Image Credit: Mark Crammer

Forty-five years after graduation, Roger and Kathy Troutman have still found a way to make an impact on their alma mater. Behind a laundry list of accolades and ties to multiple facets of the university, the two have been recognized as the 2019 Herb Coughlan Memorial Family of the Year. The award is presented annually by the Division of Student Affairs to a family who demonstrated dynamic leadership and service to Clemson during the most recent academic year.

For the Troutmans, their leadership and service extends well beyond the most recent academic year. Both served terms on the Parents Council (now the Clemson Family Advisory Board) and Student Affairs Advisory Board. He served a two-year term as president of the York County Clemson Club — affiliated with the Alumni Association — and is an IPTAY representative. He recently completed a term on the Board of Visitors, serving as chair of the marketing committee.

For some 30 years, they hosted the annual York County Clemson Club cookout for students attending Clemson and their families. The event brought 300-400 people to their home.

“We have really enjoyed being part of the Clemson Family,” he said. “Our involvement on various boards opened some doors to things that were going on at the university. It also opened our eyes to some opportunities to give back to Clemson.”

The Troutmans and Guills prior to a 2017 Clemson football game at a Student Affairs tailgate

Kathy and Roger Troutman alongside Special Assistant for Family Programs Rusty Guill and his wife Melanie prior to a 2017 Clemson football game.
Image Credit: Clemson University Relations

The Troutmans are members of the Richard W. Simpson Society, which recognizes donors with a cumulative giving total ranging from $250,000 to $499,999. He and Kathy were also among several families recognized at the 2019 “Night of the Stars” Gala for gifts totaling at least $25,000 toward Student Affairs over the most recent fiscal year.

Vice President for Student Affairs Almeda Jacks was happy to bestow the Family of the Year honor to the Troutmans, who have demonstrated a longstanding commitment to Clemson.

“Roger and Kathy are truly deserving of this honor,” Jacks said. “They have gone above and beyond for many years in support of our students.”

Troutman was a recipient of the 2007 Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor given by the Alumni Association. It is presented annually to alumni who have not only devoted their lives to professionalism and public service, but who have also continued a lifelong dedication to Clemson.

After graduating from Veterinary School at the University of Georgia, Troutman founded the Catawba Animal Clinic in 1978 and was longtime senior veterinarian at the hospital based in Rock Hill, South Carolina. He was president of the South Carolina Association of Veterinarians (SCAV) in 2004 and named Veterinarian of the Year by the same organization in 2008. Kathy was formerly the principal at Westminster Catawba Christian School and has been highly involved in the Rock Hill community as well. They have two grown children, Ryan and Katie.

Now retired, they moved to the Clemson area in November 2018. Troutman was shocked when he received a call from Jacks informing them they had been named the Family of the Year.

“When Almeda called, we were surprised and ecstatic,” he said. “So many people have given their time, talents and finances and are absolutely deserving of this award. We are very humbled because we have tried to remain in-tune to the Clemson Family and give back. But we never dreamed about anything like this. The award is very special to us as we were honored to know and serve with Herb Coughlan when we were on the Parents Council together.”